a little background

hi, my name is mandy and I have two amazing little boys. My oldest son, Ty, has been diagnosed with autism (which is what you will read most about in this blog); I also have Tripp, who is an amazing little brother to Ty (who you will also hear alot about). I was encouraged to start this blog to document our journey through life and life with autism... my world has been rocked in last few years and i have responded in good ways and bad ... but Jesus has gotten me through all of it...

i hope i can be an encouragement to you, and for the friends and family that will read this - maybe this will keep you posted indepth on what Ty is learning! :) and the adventures of Tripp too

thank you for reading, and if you have any questions, comments or smart remarks; feel free to post them.

Friday, February 27, 2015

birthdays...church... and advocacy

Birthdays and craziness…
Has February already come and gone? I now have a six and seven year old? Is that even possible? Am I old enough for that? Ha! We didn’t have “birthday parties” this year for several reasons but mainly because I just wanted to take the boys and go do something fun and celebrate! Tripp requested that we go stay at a hotel – the one in town – 8 minutes from the house….. So we convinced him to go to Hattiesburg! He didn’t understand why we had to check out that next morning – he really just loves a hotel! Maybe we should get him out more! That boy just cracks me up; his logic and reasoning blow me away sometimes, never a dull moment! So for Ty’s birthday we were going to do the same thing but he came down with a terrible case of strep. When I say terrible I mean it! Ty has never been that sick, ever. He would get the shakes and kept running fever even when we were on an antibiotic. At one point his mouth was covered in ulcers and his gums would bleed and all he could do was drink water. One night I was in the bed holding him and he was just shivering and trying to talk to me. He was using his hands and just a “talking” and my heart just broke and tears poured out. I broke because he tries so hard, and here he is hurting and shaking and he can’t tell me what’s wrong. We play twenty questions and he has gotten really good at the head nods and telling us “yes” or “no”. But what if I didn’t have time for twenty questions?! All kinds of scenarios ran through my head that night and I tried to ward off all of the “what ifs” but it just came down to me wanting him to be able to speak and how important that is in so many ways. Anyway, we ended up making another trip to the doctor and they switched his antibiotic and gave him a shot and he was good to go in no time! So all of that to say that we are rescheduling his birthday weekend!

I don’t think I can ever truly express how much I love my church family. They are absolutely amazing! Their love and generosity just blows me away. They are so wonderful, just absolutely some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life! They had Soup-er Sunday again this year for Ty and raised over three thousand dollars for him! I fought off tears the entire day. I just love that they love Ty and Tripp and us so much! They are our family and I hope one day I can return the favor and spread the love and joy and compassion that they show us on a regular basis! They don’t just help us by raising money and awareness. They are intentional in involving Ty in activities and talking to him when he busts through the doors and runs through the sanctuary like the happiest kid in the world. He runs straight to the open door in the hall to shut it and then across the front of the church to the other side and shut the other hall door. All the while “talking” at the top of his lungs and buzzing past people that jump in front of him to steel a hug and a kiss and make him talk to them. I just absolutely love that! They are also pretty amazing at stopping him before he runs out the door when he slips out of our hands or wiggles lose from a hug! Maybe the next t-shirt should be jerseys because Ty turns us all into linebackers! Lol
Ty can make all kinds of noises on a wed night during worship and not one person looks at him in a way that says “don’t do that – or shhhh its quiet time” nope if anyone even turns to look at him (because everyone is used to his outbursts and his singing and jumping and excitement) it’s to laugh with him or to smile and encourage him to be him! Just really makes my heart smile! I can tell when someone new comes in and they are caught off guard and I’ve heard someone say “oh that’s Ty” with a big smile as if to say “isn’t he having fun!” And then just get right back to whatever they are doing. It’s just a wonderful place and I love that Ty is able to learn about Jesus here and I really love how well the LOVE and GRACE and MERCY of Jesus is shown not just in their words but in their actions. Simply amazing. I love them! From the bottom of my heart!

So I got to attend a statewide parent conference yesterday in Jackson. The opening speaker almost had me in tears. At some point in her speech she said “when is the last time you asked your students what they wanted to be when they grow up?” I could feel my eyes start to water and my heart drop– now for the record I don’t know when I’ve asked Tripp this question either, but he will just tell me at random what he wants to be and we talk about all those dreams. It just made me think - What are my expectations? Where do I see Ty in 10 years? I don’t want him to just complete school. I want him to get a “real” diploma. I want him to know I have faith in him. I want him to know I have high expectations and that if he wants to be a surgeon or a boss of company or a fireman or grass cutter or whatever kind of dream that he may have... Well I want him to know that we are in his corner. That we will fight for whatever he wants to do. We obviously have a lot of hurdles to cross to get there. The number one priority being speech right now and after that potty training and we are working on self-help skills too. He has been doing chores with us at home some, it cracked me up when I figured out he wanted to help. I was putting laundry away and we had just given the boys a bath and Ty walked into the bathroom and grabbed a shirt and threw it on the couch with all the clean clothes. I laughed and told him “thank you” and gave it back to him and asked him to put it in the laundry room and he did! Then I gave him some socks to put away and he took them straight to the trash can! So I laughed and the next time I gave him laundry to put a way I walked with him and showed him where they went and he put them up! With the biggest smile! Like he’s saying “I can do this mom”! And all I can do is smile and think of other ways for him to help! He’s also been putting his bowl and spoon up after breakfast and “talks” to you the whole time to make sure you see him doing it. Tripp always gets excited for him and says “look at Ty! He put his bowl up! Good job TyTy! Way to go buddy” He’s such an encourager! I just love their connection!
One of the sessions at the conference was about advocacy and how to be an effective advocate and how the child could be their own advocate, etc. But when they can’t, when there is a language barrier then you can’t just sit back you have to push and expect what others don’t. We have been so blessed to have teachers and educators that advocate for Ty – they give us ideas, they ask us those hard questions and help us make informed decisions and they care and I can tell they want the best for Ty. Obviously every system is limited by money and resources but I would take “heart” and “passion” any day over resources. So I pray that I can be that advocate for Ty and I hope that my expectations will seem “too high” and then I want him to blow us away with his abilities! Because I know he will.

Well that’s all I got today. Thanks for reading! I love yall!


  1. You, my best friend, are A to the MAZIN! I'm blessed to be "Britt" to your boys and I've seen the love they have and the love so freely given that church family of yours! We are blessed by you! He speaks in ways far above words and our Abba makes no mistakes! Ilubt!

    1. Aw haha thanks! Ditto! And you are absolutely right about that! Love ya too!!!

  2. You, my best friend, are A to the MAZIN! I'm blessed to be "Britt" to your boys and I've seen the love they have and the love so freely given that church family of yours! We are blessed by you! He speaks in ways far above words and our Abba makes no mistakes! Ilubt!

  3. Ty is an AMAZING kid and you guys are AMAZING parents!! I'm sure that Ty will definitely blow everyone's expectations out of the water and he will grow up to be an AMAZING and loving, caring person because of everything you guys teach and do for him. And by the way, it's always good to see him at the fire meetings... he keeps things exciting :-)

    1. Awwww thanks for all the kind words!!! He sure does keep things interesting! Never a dull moment ;)